Do Google, Bing downrank AI-generated articles written by ChatGPT as spam?

We know that ChatGPT is eating the world, but is Google really eating articles written by ChatGPT and downranking them in search results as spam? What about Bing?

We were surprised to learn that a thread based on a response from Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller suggests that articles written by ChatGPT would be treated as “auto-generated content, which could lead to a manual penalty.” If true, that would mean that people wouldn’t be able to find articles written by ChatGPT–and really affect the value of ChatGPT. (Apparently, some apps are already designed to help edit a ChatGPT-authored article to get around the penalty and boost SEO.)

We haven’t been able to confirm that Google downranks ChatGPT-written articles. And when we asked ChatGPT the question, it suggested not:

The algorithm is designed to surface the most useful and relevant content to users, regardless of who created it. It’s possible that Google’s algorithm could decide that an article written by a GPT model is not as useful or relevant as an article written by a human, but there is no evidence to suggest that Google specifically downranks content generated by GPT or other AI models.

We asked ChatGPT the same question about Bing (owned by investor Microsoft). The answer was slightly different:

Bing, like other search engines, uses a variety of factors to determine the ranking of search results. .. If an article is written by a machine learning model such as ChatGPT, it may be less relevant to a user’s query than an article written by a human, and as a result, it may be downranked. However, it also could depend on the specific use case, quality of the content and other factors, as well as Bing’s changing algorithm over time. So, it cannot be said for sure, as the relevance is determined by many factors and could change over time.

It’s possible that the answer to this question is still being worked out, perhaps as we speak. It does raise an important policy question for the Web: should Google downrank Chat-GPT written articles.

This article was written by a human so hopefully it can be found through search!

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